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Bernie Sanders Explains How Citizens United Has Killed America’s Democracy

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Galraedia Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:51 PM
Original message
Bernie Sanders Explains How Citizens United Has Killed America’s Democracy
Source: PoliticusUSA

On MSNBC Sen. Bernie Sanders explained how Citizens United has destroyed our democracy, and why overturning the decision matters to every single American.

Sen. Sanders explained how Citizens United has legalized the takeover of our government by a handful of conservative billionaires, “Here’s what it is. Right now, and I think many people may not understand this, because of the Citizens United 5-4 Supreme Court decision, you can have a group of billionaires, a group of corporate executives sitting around the room, and they’re going to say, look, here’s a guy in California. Here’s somebody in Nevada. Here’s somebody in Oregon who’s opposing our interests. They want to protect the middle class and working families. They don’t want to give the rich tax breaks. They don’t want to end Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We have got to defeat that person. All right, I want you to put $20 million into California. $15 million into Oregon. $10 million into Ohio. they do this, Dylan, without disclosure. So somebody goes home to turn on their TV, there’s an ad by Citizens for a Better America, or whatever, attacking a candidate or supporting another candidate. unlimited sums of money from corporations who go into their own corporate treasuries, from the richest people in this country, without any disclosure, bombarding the air waves, electing those people who support big money, trying to defeat those of us who support working class and middle class families.”

Sanders also discussed how Citizens United has shaped the votes of the members of Congress that the billionaires haven’t bought, “The idea that if somebody is a billionaire, they can have unlimited ability to impact an election, whether it’s the Senate, House, mayor’s election, presidential election. That is not what democracy is about. All of us believe in the first amendment. We all believe in freedom of speech. I take that very, very seriously, but freedom of speech does not mean the right of billionaires to buy elections. You know, Dylan, a moment ago, you asked me what the real world impact of Citizens United and money in politics is about. I’ll tell you what it’s about. When somebody in the United States Senate has to go up to the table and cast the vote, and you’re sitting there thinking, if I vote against the interests of Wall Street, if I vote against the interests of the military industrial complex, if I vote against the insurance companies or the drug companies, will I go home next week and find millions of dollars of ads bombarding my state against me, because I cast that vote? Maybe I shouldn’t cast that vote? Maybe I shouldn’t stand up to the big money interests? Maybe I should not oppose tax breaks for the rich, because they may unload on campaign ads in my state? Those are the day-to-day realities that elected officials deal with because of this disastrous decision.”

The Citizens United decision has been a total disaster, not for the Democratic or Republican parties, but for every single American citizen. What Sen. Sanders described was the chilling effect that the decision has had on members of Congress, but the same sort of calculus can be found at all levels of electoral politics. No incumbent wants to go home to a barrage of tens of millions of dollars worth of negative ads aimed at them from shadowy groups who aren’t required to disclose who their donors are or where the donations came from.

Read more: http://www.politicususa.com/en/bernie-sanders-explains-...
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks Bernie, and thanks Galraedia (nt)
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populistleftist1 Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:34 PM
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2. I used to think sanders was a great person
now, years later, I see that he is just playing up to the dominant memes in the political milieu. Doesn't have the least idea of what real politics is and what is really needed to get america straight.

Sad.
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bullwinkle428 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Playing up to the dominant memes? Are you fucking kidding?
If ONLY the things he talked about came anywhere close to dominating the discussion!

:banghead:
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populistleftist1 Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. corporation personhood issue!!??
that is a dominant meme in the political Democratic milieu. It is talked about constantly in the democratic online world, and unfortunately, it is an EFFECT, not a cause of our problems. Do you understand that in order to fix problems you have to deal with causes and not effects?

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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. WTF? If we need to deal with the cause, we ought to be ableto throw corporation into jail
Edited on Sun Dec-11-11 12:57 PM by ShockediSay
when they trangress the law, like any other real "person." If not throw them into jail, suspend their corporate charters and their right to do business.

PS
When dead presidents start to talk, then maybe money is free speech.

I'm with Bernie.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. He may be trying to attack Citizens United, which should be attacked, without alienating anyone
Edited on Sun Dec-11-11 01:45 AM by No Elephants
over other issues.

IMO, he bites his tongue a lot for that reason. Now, I realize that could be wishful thinking on my part, hence the "IMO."

He is usually on the correct side of an issue, even if you may not like how he presents it.

"Scorched earth" is not always the way to get things done, for a Senator in this country as it currently is. And I do want him in the Senate and trying to get things done.

And, at the same time, he is raising awareness as to role of money in American politics. Believe it or not, I don't think all voters get it.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 04:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-11 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Sanders isn't a great person?
You are in the wrong place if you are peddling that bullshit.

There was already far too much corporate influence in the elections and legislative issues before Ctizens United. Citizens United made that far worse. It has damaged our democracy beyond words. If you can't see that you are a fucking dunce.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-11 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Sanders is the only longstanding politician who tells it like it is
" Doesn't have the least idea of what real politics is and what is really needed to get america straight."

Yeah, I guess all those years in Congress makes him a real novice about "what real politics is." :crazy:

He is one of only a few truth tellers in the Congress.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. Democracy, as we like to think of it, was on life support before Citizens' United.
Now, it's just a question of how deeply it gets buried.
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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. IMHO, lying justices Roberts and Alito who stated under oath they would
observe precedent before throwing it out completely, plus affiliated themselves with the Federalists, should be impeached. But first we gotta elect a solid majority with 99% of the electorate behind us.
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